By Cindy Rhea
Many people will make New Year Resolutions to get fit or start exercising. Gyms and fitness centers are packed in January – with people ready to fulfill those resolutions to improve their health. However, once March arrives the desire wanes, life kicks in, and so many resolutions bite the dust. So what can you do to accomplish that New Year Resolution?
First of all, make your resolution – or goal – something that YOU really want to do. Not something you feel you have to do, nor something someone else wants you to do. Do you want to lose weight? Run a 5K? Eat better? Adopting healthier activities involve creating new habits. Commitment is important to developing a new habit and choosing the right goal can be the key first step.
Once you choose your goal, break it down into achievable steps. Think of your goal as your final destination. How you achieve that goal is your plan – your map of how you will get there. Just like planning a road trip, plan how you will reach your resolution destination. Each step of your plan is leg of your journey. Keep it simple and directly related to your goal.
If fitness or exercise is your resolution, here are some questions to help you plan:
What kind of exercise do you want to do? (What sounds like fun?)
Where will you exercise? (Do you need to join a gym?)
Do you need instruction? (If yes, explore personal or group training)
What days/times will you exercise? (Schedule it)
Will someone exercise with you? (Will you be more accountable with a friend?)
Here are some tips for increasing your fitness in the New Year:
- Give exercise importance. Your body needs it. Consider it as important as eating lunch. It is. Do not think of exercise as something you will do when you have time.
- Schedule it – put it on your calendar. Then do it. Routine will help you establish that habit.
- Take your kids. Most gyms have day care. Kids love parks. They can play on the infield if you walk the track. Kids who experience their parents exercising regularly learn that exercise is a regular part of life.
- Find what you like to do. There is something for everyone. If you don’t like one thing, try something else. While it may be hard it first, this should make you feel good.
- Write down your potential pitfalls. What might cause you to fail? Be aware, and be ready to make adjustments if you need to avoid a pitfall.
- If you have never exercised before, realize that feeling uncomfortable is normal.
Happy New Year, and best wishes for successful and lasting resolutions! Enjoy the journey, it’s worth it.
Cindy Rhea is an ACE Certified Personal Trainer and an avid fitness enthusiast. She works full-time as the Director of Development at the Primary Care & Hope Clinic in Murfreesboro, TN. A wife, mother, grandmother and wine connoisseur, Cindy balances healthy living with the good life.